MLS Playoffs: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders: Match Night Commentary

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BY ADAM SERRANO

The most highly-awaited match of the MLS Playoffs is finally here as the Los Angeles Galaxy travel to Qwest Field to take on the Seattle Sounders (ESPN2, 8PM).

Los Angeles enters the playoffs having won five of their last seven matches in route to winning the Supporters Shield. The Galaxy's reward for winning the Supporters Shield is a trip to the jam-packed Qwest Field for a date with the league's form team, the Sounders. Seattle roared into the post season winning five of their last six matches and will be eager to earn a playoff win in front of their rapid supporters.

I will be providing commentary throughout the match, live from Qwest Field so please feel free to follow along here. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. 

Enjoy the action (Commentary is after the jump): 

FINAL – The Galaxy got a GREAT deal out of their defense tonight and Los Angeles will end 2010 having only conceded seven goals on the road. That is all from me for right now. I am heading into the depths of Qwest for the post game. Any questions please share them.

This has been Adam Serrano, thank you for following along and Buenas Noches!

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FINAL – Ricketts has to earn the PoG with SEVEN saves coming in the first half, eight in the game. The Sounders are doing a salute to the fans as this is the final match they will play at Qwest.

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FINAL – The Whistle blows and boos rain down on the field from the Sounders faithful. Buddle's brilliant moment gives the Galaxy 1-0 victory to take to the HDC leg of the series. For all the focus on the Sounders crowd, Seattle has yet to score a goal at Qwest in the playoffs. 

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93rd Minute – N'Kufo picks up a yellow for delaying Ricketts effort to play a goal kick.

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90th Minute – FIVE Minutes of stoppage

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87th Minute – SAVE RICKETTS!!! Jaqua gets free and Ricketts comes up big again!

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86th Minute – I'm going to have to say that Gonzalez, Ricketts, DeLaGarza and Buddle all tie for my players of the game. The Terps did a find job representing while Ricketts made timely saves. Buddle's moment of brilliance was by far the greatest seen in the playoffs this year. 

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85th Minute – JUST WIDE!!!! Juninho and Magere with a BRILLIANT build up but the Brazilian JUST misses wide. Close play right there. 

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84th Minute – CLOSE!!! N'Kufo heads it to Jaqua, who JUST misses it. Eddie Lewis comes out for Gregg Berhalter

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81st Minute – Nate "Zombie" Jaqua comes on for Sturgis. Sounders with a corner kick, Sigis is clearly going for it, but Gonzalez launches a shot into the North End Supporters. 

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80th Minute – Zakuani moved to the right wing where he can run at Eddie Lewis. Smart move and perhaps should have come a ALOT sooner for the Sounders.

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79th Minute – Amazing stat is that the Buddle's last postseason goal came six years ago today in a 1-1 draw for Columbus Crew against the Revolution. 

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77th Minute – Expect Fernandez to add a bit more organization and pace back into the match for the Sounders. If Seattle is going to score, my money on is that he will be a part of it. Sounders earn a corner. 

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74th Minute – Alvaro Fernandez enters the game for the Sounders replacing the ineffective Sanna Nyassi. Eddie Lewis did a wonderful job containing him. 

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72nd Minute – The Sounders starting to play with a bit more pressure. Jovan Kirovski coming on for Buddle. Interesting move. 

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71st  Minute – LA Galaxy sub: Birchall coming in for Kovalenko. Looks like Sounders DP Alvaro Fernandez will come in too. Beckham with a dangerous free kick that Keller JUST saves. 

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69th Minute – Word from up top that Parke had a sprain in his left ankle which necessitated the change. Looks like Birchall is about to come on for the ornery Kovalenko. 

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66th Minute – Donovan tries to go coast to coast after the clearance, but Riley with some timely defending to clear the chance. 

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65th Minute – Zakuani ruled offside — close call –, but he should have done better. Dema finally picks up a yellow card on a foul on N'Kufo on the opposite end. Sounders free kick from about 25 yards. Marshall coming in for Parke. 

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63rd Minute – Crowd doing their part to get the Sounders back into the match. Sounders earn a corner, but the chance is cleare.

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58th Minute – A bit of a delay after Parke comes down. Maggee catches a header, but Keller comes out to play the ball. No chance of that shot ever going anywhere though. 

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54th Minute – Tonight's attendance – 35,521. That is the 2nd most for a conference playoff and the No. 9th all time in MLS soccer playoffs. 

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50th Minute – YELLOW CARD to Montero. As I said, the flood gates will open once the first card is given. Montero given a yellow for appearing to trip Donovan. 

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49th Minute – YELLOW CARD. Juninho with a yellow card for hacking down Zakuani. Who would have thought it was Juninho all along. 

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48th Minute – Zakuani with a great effort, but the shot is painfully wide. 

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47th Minute – No changes on either side. 

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45th Minute – Back underway. 

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HALFTIME – Edson Buddle's wonder strike puts the Galaxy up 1-0 and the crowd at Qwest is completely stunned. Little noise coming from the 36,000+ here at Qwest Field. The Sounders have plenty to work with going into the second half as they have dominated the chances. A quick goal in the second half can bring them ( and the crowd) back to life.

If you are following along, let me hear from you. Who are you supporting and where are you checking in from. Any requests for me, please send them out. 

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45th Minute – The whistle is blown the Galaxy are up 1-0. 

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45th Minute – The crowd seems a little less active, but the Galaxy are still facing a lot of pressure from the Sounders. 

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42nd Minute – SAVE RICKETTS!!! Corner kick to the Sounders, but the effort is cleared. Kovalenko earned the free kick for the Sounders with another clumsy challenge. Still no cards. 

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41st Minute – Gonzalez sends in a ball to Buddle, who turns and fires a goal from about 35 yards out at an angle. The goal was his first post season goal with the Galaxy. Talk about a shot that takes your breath away. The crowd here is stunned. 

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38TH Minute – WOW!!! WHAT A GOAL!!!! EDSON BUDDLE SILENCES THE CROWD!!!!

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36th Minute – N'Kufo with a quick shot that Ricketts saved. The Jamaican has definitely been the man of the match for the Galaxy so far. Many INCREDIBLY timely saves. 

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34th Minute – Sounders effort cleared as the match is starting to open up even more. 

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32nd Minute – WOW Ricketts comes out of his net after Zakuani nearly has an open look at net. DeLaGarza with great closing speed to clear it. The Sounders march right back with break neck speed and earn a corner. 

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30th Minute – Donovan with a deep shot that Keller saves and Beckham will march to the corner flag. LA trying to slow this game down significantly. 

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29th Minute – LA is truly on their heels right now. Deflections galore as the Sounders dominate possession. LA can not seem to get any drive at net going. 

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28th Minute – Beckham with the corner, but the effor bounces off a Galaxy player for a goal kick. The crowd just completed a very impressive "Seattle" "Sounders" chant. Wow. 

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27th Minute – Kovalenko keeps up the rough stuff, Salazar showing a real reluctance to go into the books because once he does. Expect the cards o fly with rapid speed. 

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24th Minute – WOW!! RICKETTS with GREAT REACTION SAVE on Montero. WHAT A SAVE. The Sounders earn the corner, but it is cleared. Ricketts putting on a clinic so far. 

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23rd Minute – SAVE RICKETTS!! Montero with a speedy shot that the Jamaican saves. Sounders  earn a corner. 

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21st Minute – A little professional foul for Franklin on N'Kufo, sets up a free kick that falls weakily into the hands of Ricketts. Sounds back on the charge however. 

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19th Minute – JUST WIDE! Sturgis sends in a whipping free kick that Parke heads. BARELY misses the net. 

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18th Minute – The Sounders starting to put some pressure as Kovalenko brings down Alonso. Still no yellow card for the Ukrainian. Those two are going to go at it all night long. Free kick Sounders to the right of Ricketts. 

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13th Minute – Bit of a physical match so far, but pretty even right now. Both teams looking for an edge. 

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9th Minute – DeLaGarza takes down Montero and the Sounders earn a free kick from about forty, the chance goes through the box and out for a Galaxy goal kick. 

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7th Minute – Beckham with an indirect free kick after the Riley foul. Keller stops the shot and the Galaxy earn a corner. 

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6th Minute – The Galaxy are looking pretty nervy right now, but are playing with a lot of pace. They need to settle down and regain some composure. This crowd is doing a number on them right now. 

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4th Minute – Dema in a little bit of a scuff early with Alonso. Beckham with a free kick that Buddle heads out for a Seattle goal kick. 

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2nd Minute – OFFSIDES!!! Ricketts makes the save on an Alonso shot and Zakuani was WAY offside for the shot into the net. Sounders fans NOT pleased. 

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1st Minute – And. Here. We. Go. What an atmosphere, this crowd is PUMPED. 

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PREGAME: Wow. This is a crazy environment. What a sight. 

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PREGAME: It may seem like a lifetime ago, but the Galaxy won the season series with the Sounders with a pair of wins, 4-0 at Qwest Field in April and 3-1 at the Home Depot Center on July 4th. Each of those results were before the Sounders current streak, however and will hardly be on the minds of the teams tonight.

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PREGAME: Huge loss for the Galaxy as Todd Dunivant is out with a right hamstring strain. Eddie Lewis will start. The last time that he started was the second leg of the champions league match in Puerto Rico. He has not started in an MLS game this season. 

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PREGAME: This is my first experience at Qwest Field for a Sounders match — I attended MLS Cup last year — and I must say that I am blown away. Buck Shaw Stadium was a great atmosphere last night, but its nothing compared to this place. Wow. 

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PREGAME: This is Adam Serrano, checking in from Qwest Field. A bit of a dramatic trip to Rain City after being overbooked on my flight out of San Jose. Luckily, I am here and what a place this is.

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PREGAME: Here are the line ups:

LOS ANGELES GALAXY

———Magee—————Buddle————–

Donovan————-Juninho————Beckham

———————-Kovalenko———————–

Lewis—-DeLaGarza——Gonzalez—Franklin

———————-Ricketts———————–

SEATTLE SOUNDERS

———Montero———-N'Kufo————-

Zakuani———–Alonso—————Nyassi

———————Sturgis———————–

Gonzalez——Ianni——–Parke———–Riley

———————–Keller———————–

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61 Responses to MLS Playoffs: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders: Match Night Commentary

  1. Travis says:

    Wish this was not at 5pm Halloween night, we would have even more people there. Lots of families were not able to go because their kids wanted to trick or treat, big scheduling issue

  2. Edwin in LA says:

    Adam how is the crowd looking?

    Any idea if there’s bigger than usual turnout? I had a feeling since it was the 1st time Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle played in Seattle after South Africa and Beckham’s 1st ever game vs Seattle at Qwest Field, I think he has now played in every single current stadium in MLS.

    As long as he makes the trip to Portland and Vancouver he should be good to play in all 18 franchises

  3. Edwin in LA says:

    Priorities, they could of enjoyed Halloween activities the Sounders held, they even had a hounted house. There can’t be that many people who HAVE to go with their kids to get candy, that’s what neighbors and friends are for! lol

  4. Rob says:

    Umm why is there a North Korean flag flying at quest? Kind of odd

  5. dena says:

    Beckham didn’t play vs. NY

  6. Rob says:

    Oh I read the Chivas USA flag is almost identical to the N. Korean flag. Weird.

  7. anon says:

    So is Arena being irrational in starting the generally-useless Mike Magee or is Bowen really that bad? Inquiring minds want to know (FWIW he’s been decent when I’ve seen him, but not overpoweringly good.)

  8. Rob says:

    That crowd is incredible…. It’s like a concert atmosphere. I am jealous, wish we had that in NY (NJ).

  9. Travis says:

    Wow I did not know Ricardo Salazar was the ref, Seattle is doomed. He send off one of our players every time we play.

  10. Rob says:

    Galaxy look to be full of nerves…… Need that first 15 mins. to calm down.

  11. Scott A says:

    And it probably makes it a better atmosphere with more adults :D

  12. Alberto A says:

    Too bad abt the offside goal! Would have been a great quick prize for the awesome Seattle crowd. Seattle better be careful with fouls. Keller can save some but not all beckham or donovan set pieces kicks. Btw, that is the north Korean flag. Just above a south Korean and a Mexican flag. A row of flags is up in the stadium, not sure why. Prediction for my pals out there: Seattle 2-1, but LA wins series.

  13. BSU SC says:

    Where did you get that bit of information from? Are you even watching the game? It’s a sellout crowd with an amazing atmosphere.

  14. KungFuSoccer says:

    It looks like there could be one or more red cards before this is over

  15. Dominghosa says:

    Whoa. What a goal. Edson Buddle. Golazo.

  16. Joamiq says:

    Holy crap. Que golazo de Buddle. Made Keller look bad.

  17. CaliNick23 says:

    Hell yeah! What a goal Buddle.

    Bakersfield,CA SoutherCali

  18. jim in atlanta says:

    HOLLY SH**!!! BUDDLE!!!

  19. KungFuSoccer says:

    GOLAZO!!!! Buddle. Looks like seattle will get at least one back by the end of the night.

  20. Ufficio says:

    That was the worst goal call of all time from Dellacamera. Can we get the Spanish language announcers back?

  21. dena says:

    He was as shocked as the rest of us, too bad he’s the man who’s supposed to get the most excited, how weak.

  22. NK says:

    That looked just like Dempsey’s goal last year.

  23. Neg says:

    The Portsmouth goal or the Juventus goal? It was almost like a combo, had the element of surprise like the Portsmouth goal and the placement of the Juve goal.

  24. NK says:

    The Stoke goal-there was a header that bounced up in the air, then one hop, and then struck from 35-40 yards over the keeper, who was off his line. I would put Buddle’s maybe a bit higher degree of difficulty because he added a sort of half twist to it

  25. Neg says:

    Thanks NK, that’s the one I was thinking about. I don’t know why I said Portsmouth. Great goal though.

  26. Scott A says:

    Great half of soccer. That Galaxy defense definitely looks susceptible to players getting behind them or beating them with speed. Fantastic strike by Buddle and alertness. Fantastic save from Ricketts on the Montero header. Beckham looks sharp. I’m enjoying Seattle’s style of play.

  27. kackac says:

    Good game so far (as a neutral). Goal came out of nowhere, but I’m sure we will see more in the next half

  28. Kawandinho says:

    as a NY fan who hated Buddles guts when he was here i must say GOtttDammmm. This guy is not the same player. he should be our starting Striker of USA over Jozy .

  29. ciscokid says:

    Sounders fan checking in from Reno, NV. Supporter group of 1 tonight.

  30. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Go GALS. But good going Sounders supporters, for making the night a memorable one!

  31. Edwin in LA says:

    Man I really hope Bruce plans on putting in Birchall and it wouldn’t hurt to bring in Bowen or Jordan to help on the wings so Landon can be more free to stay high/central or lay back in cover to help Lewis, who I must say is playing an amazing game for being his age, a game on turf and last minute start. AJ De La Garza is earning himself a nice raise specially since guys like Klein and Lewis will be gone, I hope Portland drafts Kirovski or someone lol.

    Does anyone think Alex could help on D if Lewis or someone gets tired?

  32. SuperChivo says:

    I wish there was someone better than Magee to put up front with Buddle. Lots of hustle but not much else.

  33. KungfuSoccer says:

    Arena needs to sub out Dema now. good game for him, but time to go.

  34. Rob says:

    The ref is falling apart, he was pretty good that first half too bad…

  35. KungFuSoccer says:

    Thank you bruce.

  36. Edwin in LA says:

    You too bad he followed that up with taking out Buddle, WTH? If he wanted to replace Buddle put in Bowen who has the pace to help and maybe have Donovan be the 2nd forward but knowing him more withdrawn.

    I hope there’s a reason why Bruce keeps playing Kirovski’s old sack. I can’t believe Bowen doesn’t work hard enough to earn a sub appearance since Magee is the one having a bad game, and like Harkes said (He said something useful for a change) Buddle can help on set pieces to defend!

  37. SuperChivo says:

    Omar Gonzalez still looks like a rookie, dominates in the air and defends well but then does something stupid that makes you think that he’s not ready for the next level yet.

  38. SuperChivo says:

    Seattle has two DPs, one that comes off the bench and the other that looks like an NFL player but who really wants to be a winger.

  39. SuperChivo says:

    Stupid card from Nkufo

  40. Joamiq says:

    Wow, Blaise Nkufo. That was one of the lamest displays I’ve seen in MLS this year.

  41. Neg says:

    Classless card from Nkufo is more like it. That was a lesson in getting a dumb card.

  42. adam says:

    Seriously… that’s a great way to make everybody not a Sounders supporter hate you. How classless.

  43. Joamiq says:

    What’s truly mind boggling is that he was shaking his head in disbelief at the card. What exactly did he think was going to happen? Stupid.

  44. Travis says:

    As a sounders fan that result was tough to swallow. LA only had two clear chances and got extremely lucky to finish the goal they did (although juninho probably should have finished the other). buddle could take that should 1000 more times and would never make it again. was hoping LA would come up here and play the game the right way, game started well but them scoring first made the game quite dull.

  45. Joamiq says:

    “Come on Blaise, you’ve been around WAY too long to think that would be okay. What is this, FIFA 98 on amateur level?”

    Hahaha, Ives, right on the money, as usual

  46. Scott A says:

    Donovan’s a sincere guy–I like it. That Nkufo thing was bizarre haha. Rob Stone’s better since he calmed down a little. Did Harkes just say that the Galaxy were the only team to win away from home in the playoffs..?
    Not going to get sleep after getting stared down by some zombie.

  47. iron maiden says:

    Actually Nkufo was right to go for the ball. Ricketts let’s the ball hang in the air before actually kicking it, and at that point it’s fair game. Nkufo gets props for spotting that and trying to take advantage. And fwiw he never even touches Ricketts, he got nothing but ball…

  48. Spencer says:

    obviously you don’t have any referring experience.

  49. Joamiq says:

    That is 100% unequivocally incorrect. From the FIFA Laws of the Game:

    “The goalkeeper is considered to be in possession of the ball:
    – while the ball is between his hands or between his hand and any surface (e.g., ground, own body)
    – while holding the ball in his outstretched open hand.
    – while in the act of bouncing it on the ground or tossing it into the air

    When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot be challenged by an opponent.

    – It is an offence for a player to prevent a goalkeeper from releasing the ball from his hands
    – A player must be penalised for playing in a dangerous manner if he kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it”

    Page 113. link to fifa.com

  50. adam says:

    You are so wrong.

    link to askasoccerreferee.com

    I got a yellow card for trying to head the ball from a punt standing two feet in front of the keeper when I was like 11 or something. I didn’t know how dumb it was then, but I was 11. Nkufo is 35; he should know that doesn’t belong.

  51. adam says:

    oops, got beat by a hair!

  52. KurtL says:

    Can you imagine what a farce it would be if players would start chasing the goalies around the penalty area.
    Ricketts knew exactly what he was doing, he attempted to put the ball into play and when Nkufko interferred he earned himself a yellow card.

  53. Ryan says:

    Galaxy fan, just wanted to thank Sounders fans for the crowd tonight. Calls and final outcome aside, this is what neutrals and recent followers need to see, butts in seats. Hats off and great to see for the whole league. Makes me proud.

  54. KungFuSoccer says:

    Ok, Galaxy Fan giving a thought, insert bias, but Buddle is not lucky, he is actually very good, really good. He can create his own goals and finish other chances that other’s create. In a certain sense every goal is lucky. Goals are very difficult. Obviously, that goal is not going in every time. But Buddle is a real talent. That being said, Sounders were very good. and could have ended up with a win or tie on another day.

    This was a great day for MLS, the game was damn exciting and felt important. As a Galaxy fan I salute the Sounders and moreso their fans.

  55. Tim says:

    Yeah. It was a sell-out no more people could have gone.

  56. suburbansb says:

    Players DO harass keepers all the time. Usually the keeper is smarter and will hold onto the ball and wait em out, thus wasting more time.

    Once the ball leaves the keepers hands it’s in play. Most keepers drop kick in such a way that trying to get at it will be interfering. But Ricketts actually tosses the ball up and side kicks it leaving a huge opening.

  57. BigPoppaPump says:

    you sir, are the definition of a true hater lol. show some class in accepting the goal for what it is, regardless of what color jersey the player who scored had on. it was indeed an effing golazo, a wonderstrike.

    anyways, great game to watch and the atmosphere was amazing. can’t wait foe the rematch!!!

  58. Joamiq says:

    Again, that is 100% incorrect. See my comment above. The idea that the ball is in play once it leaves the keeper’s hands, in addition to being wrong, is flat out ludicrous. KurtL is right – the result would be a farce.

  59. DDay says:

    Best atmosphere yet (for the first 20 minutes)

    finally got the rest of the crowd to do Sounders clap-clap-clap after the BBC (boom boom clap) intro. Greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

    link to youtube.com

    this is a vid of our display.

    Congrats to Buddle, what a strike. DeLaGarza was brilliant as a CB.

    We’ve got over 200 traveling to LA, see you there

  60. Charles says:

    They need to shut the pomp and circumstance music off while the team “marches” into the game…..very boring.

    I am not against music and noise other than fans, but in this case….it would be a LOT better.